Fried calls on Gov. DeSantis to release more COVID information


A 3-D rendering of the coronavirus (Getty Images).

TAMPA (WFLA) – As COVID cases surge in Florida, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to release more information about the virus.

“Floridians need timely information to best protect their families as the situation is rapidly changing,” said Fried.

Dr. Jason Salemi an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at USF has created a daily dashboard with COVID-19 information complied from a variety of sources.

“I think having access to daily information is extremely important and I think sometimes we pay too much attention to the daily ebb and flow of numbers,” said Salemi.

Salemi says it’s more important to pay attention to 7-day or 14-day trends about the virus although getting that information isn’t easy to access.

“You don’t just go to information from the Florida Department of health, you’ve got to go to a lot of different areas,” Salemi said.

Salemi says the state has stopped releasing information about COVID-19 cases based on zip code, but he believes that information could be misleading in some cases.

“Sometimes you wouldn’t get what you really want, which is the person’s zip code of residence to know where people who are testing positive actually live. A lot of times that would be the zip code of the facility that they tested positive in and that’s not always the same community,” said Salemi.

Still he believes information about the virus is important and right now he says it’s showing a large surge of the virus in Florida.

“In the past six weeks we’ve had a tenfold increase in the number of new people testing positive each day in Florida,” said Salemi.

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